Magn Reson Med. 2024 Feb 11. doi: 10.1002/mrm.30044. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: There are 118 known elements. Nearly all of them have NMR active isotopes and at least 39 different nuclei have biological relevance. Despite this, most of today’s MRI is based on only one nucleus-1 H. To facilitate imaging all potential nuclei, we present a single transmit coil able to excite arbitrary nuclei in human-scale MRI.
THEORY AND METHODS: We present a completely new type of RF coil, the Any-nucleus Distributed Active Programmable Transmit Coil (ADAPT Coil), with fast switches integrated into the structure of the coil to allow it to operate at any relevant frequency. This coil eliminates the need for the expensive traditional RF amplifier by directly converting direct current (DC) power into RF magnetic fields with frequencies chosen by digital control signals sent to the switches. Semiconductor switch imperfections are overcome by segmenting the coil.
RESULTS: Circuit simulations demonstrated the effectiveness of the ADAPT Coil approach, and a 9 cm diameter surface ADAPT Coil was implemented. Using the ADAPT Coil, 1 H, 23 Na, 2 H, and 13 C phantom images were acquired, and 1 H and 23 Na ex vivo images were acquired. To excite different nuclei, only digital control signals were changed, which can be programmed in real time.
CONCLUSION: The ADAPT Coil presents a low-cost, scalable, and efficient method for exciting arbitrary nuclei in human-scale MRI. This coil concept provides further opportunities for scaling, programmability, lowering coil costs, lowering dead-time, streamlining multinuclear MRI workflows, and enabling the study of dozens of biologically relevant nuclei.